Gender discrimination is defined as any uneven treatment of a person because of their gender. Gender discrimination has the most harmful impact on women and girls. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the elements that determine gender discrimination in Pakistan and its impact on the lives of women.
The systematic study and qualitative interviews revealed six significant themes. It encompasses (1) the status of women in society, (2) gender inequality in health, (3) gender inequality in education, (4) gender inequality in work, (5) gender biassed societal norms and cultural practices, and (6) suggestions at the micro and macro levels.
Furthermore, until she is married, a woman is frequently considered as a sexual object and a dependent human who lacks self-identity. Furthermore, women are often neglected and compelled to hide their self-expression since they are limited to domestic and child-rearing obligations.
Similarly, males are considered as dominant characters in the lives of women, making all family choices. They are seen as financial providers and a source of security. Furthermore, women endure gender discrimination in many sectors of life, including education and health care access.
Gender inequality is ingrained in Pakistani society. To prevent gender discrimination, the entire population, particularly women, should be educated and gendered sensitized in order to enhance women’s standing in Pakistan.
Gender discrimination is a type of discrimination in which someone is treated differently or unjustly because of their sex/gender.
Employment sex discrimination is banned under federal law. However, there are presently no federal employment safeguards in place for individuals who face discrimination because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Furthermore, various states in the United States define gender and sex discrimination differently under their unique statutes. Many state courts, agencies, commissioners, and attorneys general, for example, prefer to construe existing federal legislation on gender discrimination protections to include safeguards against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Sex discrimination in the workplace became illegal under federal law with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This protection extends to individuals who are applying to jobs and current employees.
Types of Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
- Disparate treatment based on sex
- Sexual harassment
Disparate treatment based on sex: In general, it refers to an employee being treated differently or unfairly because of their gender. Employees may face discriminatory hiring or firing practices, salary discrepancies, or restrictions on perks or promotions according to their gender.
Sexual harassment: is a subtle kind of sex discrimination that involves any unwanted sexual behaviour (verbal or physical) that interferes with job performance, impacts a person’s employment, or produces a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment in the workplace can include anything from improper sexual jokes to the use of sexual slurs and non-consensual contact.
Examples of Workplace Gender Discrimination:
Many factors, including a woman’s place of employment, geography, and other distinguishing qualities of herself and coworkers, might influence the sort of prejudice she may face in the workplace.
Examples of gender discrimination and harassment include:
- being discriminated against in hiring or firing processes because of gender
- being passed over for a promotion because of gender; also known as the “glass ceiling”
- being paid less than a male employee who works the same job
- being subjected to unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or other forms of sexual harassment
- being given less paid sick leave or denied employee benefits because of gender
- being written up for behavior that would not result in disciplinary action if undertaken by an employee of the opposite gender
- being addressed by a name or gender with which you do not identify (for example, a transgender guy being addressed as ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs.’)
- being subjected to insulting remarks or insults as a result of being female
Under federal law, gender discrimination is considered illegal under circumstances where the discrimination involves treatment that negatively affects the terms and conditions of your job—which includes:
- job responsibilities
- dress code
- work hours
- starting salary
- performance standards
- vacation days
- sick leave
Gender discriminatory activities are not usually committed by males. People of both sexes can be perpetrators of gender-based workplace discrimination, and the gender of the offender does not invalidate the illegality of employment discrimination.
Ways Gender Discrimination Can Affect Women In The Workplace:
Gender discrimination at work can have serious consequences for a person’s physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing.
It may be frustrating to feel powerless over how you’re treated or seen by others because of your gender, and this can influence all elements of your career, from perceived workplace safety to your ability to complete job obligations fully and to the best of your skills.
Effects of gender discrimination on women in the workplace may include:
- diminished productivity
- low self-esteem
- emotions of irritation, wrath, or paranoia
- a sense of being unsafe or scared
- isolation from coworkers
- conflict with the perpetrator of the prejudice (e.g., coworkers, boss, firm)
- concerns with mental health and substance misuse
- conflicts in the workplace
- pregnancy complications (among pregnant women who face gender discrimination at work)
The impact of gender discrimination on a person varies depending on the setting of the scenario and her personal reactions to the harassment or discrimination that happens. Not all women will react or cope in the same manner to gender prejudice.
While some may be more confident in their ability to assert their right to equal treatment, others may be more fearful of taking action—a struggle that is frequently influenced by compounding marginalisations, as well as considerations such as the woman’s role in the company and who is perpetrating the discriminatory act(s).
Employee Rights In The Workplace:
No one should ever feel forced to tolerate employment discrimination based on gender. As an employee in the United States, you are entitled to certain rights to maintain equality and equity in the workplace in relation to your coworkers, regardless of gender.
Employee rights in the workplace include:
- the right to work in a safe, non-discriminatory workplace
- the right to report gender discrimination at work to your employer or human resources (HR) professionals.
- the right to work while pregnant
- the right to equal hiring, advancement, and employee benefits as non-female employees in comparable jobs
- If you are a union member, you have the right to file a grievance for breach of contract.
- the right to speak out against gender discrimination at work
- the freedom to resist directives that would make you a party to employment discrimination
- the right to refuse sexual approaches at work or to act if you observe sexual harassment/assault
- the right to a copy of your personnel file, which may contain performance evaluations, salary history, and other employment-related information
- the right to testify as a witness in a workplace discrimination inquiry
- you have the right to sue your employer for discrimination
What To Do If You’re Experiencing Gender Discrimination: A Step-By-Step Guide:
Experiencing gender discrimination on the job can be an upsetting, often traumatic experience.
If you’ve experiencing discrimination in your workplace on account of your gender, take these steps to determine your legal options:
1. Consult Your Employee Handbook
Employee handbooks generally include a policy against employee discrimination, including discrimination based on gender and/or sexual orientation. Examine your employee handbook to discover whether there are any particular regulations in place covering workplace discrimination, including instructions on how to recognise and report harassment.
2. Document the Discriminatory Act
Once you’ve found your employer’s gender discrimination policy, start recording the types of discrimination you or a coworker has faced, including the consequences on your job productivity, workplace safety, and witnesses.
Make a list of everything you recall about the incident(s). No detail is too minor or insignificant. Include the corresponding dates, places, and names of everyone involved.
3. Report The Incident(s) To A Supervisor or Human Resources
Report the discrimination to your employer’s human resources (HR) department or whoever is in charge of handling workplace complaints. If you decide to sue your employer, it will help your case if you show that you took the necessary procedures to report the discrimination internally to the right individuals.
4. Consult An Employment Discrimination Lawyer
Reporting employment discrimination may be a daunting procedure. Despite legal safeguards that allow for reporting without fear of reprisal, many persons report being unjustly retaliated against in some fashion.
Examples of illegal retaliation include:
- cutting work hours
- verbal or physical abuse
- defamation of character
- docked pay
- making an employee’s work more challenging
- increased scrutiny
- wrongful termination
If you have reported the discriminatory behaviour to someone in your workplace and have received no results, or if you have suffered retribution for reporting, you should contact an employment lawyer.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal organisation in charge of handling employment discrimination allegations, receives hundreds of claims each year and may be unable to give your case the attention and timeliness it deserves.
An employment lawyer can explain your rights, assess the specifics of your position, and assist you in filing a claim or lawsuit against your employer if your circumstance warrants legal action.
Legal Remedies for Workplace Gender Discrimination:
If you’ve experienced unjust treatment in the workplace due to your gender, you may have the right to pursue legal recourse.
By filing a discrimination claim, you may be able to recover the following remedies:
- compensatory damages (emotional pain and suffering)
- back pay
- court costs
- front pay
- attorney fees
- punitive damages
- physical injuries from an accident
The procedure for filing an employment discrimination complaint or lawsuit varies by state.
If you want to submit a discrimination claim, you may be subject to time constraints. It is advisable to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you have the ability to seek legal redress, as discrimination claims in your state may be barred by a statute of limitations. Discrimination allegations are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s Fair Employment Practices Agency (FEPA).
According to the findings, women are viewed as sexual objects and are hence restricted to their houses. Women are frequently assessed based on their physical appearance, which limits their liberty in several facets of life. Many women have difficulty leaving their houses alone and want male protection. As a result, males are considered as guardians, whilst women are regarded as dependent beings who require a man’s identity.
Men’s roles in the home are recognized as authoritative, but women require male approval since they are thought incapable of making proper judgements. Women are major careers for their families, including their husbands, children, and in-laws.
These efforts, however, go mostly unappreciated. These gender power disparities are so pronounced in families that many women are unaware of their rights. Women conform to societal and cultural ideals that push them to become second-class citizens.
Girls in society mature and finally take on typical female roles. Women’s standing in Pakistani society may be improved by increased education and awareness among communities.
Gender roles in Pakistani society are exceedingly complicated and have been passed down from generation to generation with little modification throughout the centuries. This research identifies some of the elements that contribute to gender discrimination among Pakistani women.
Women play a caring role in Pakistani culture due to cultural and socioeconomic beliefs. Women encounter severe hurdles in seeking empowerment that would allow them oppose such oppressive roles assigned to them due to the reinforcement of these roles by various family members as well as the dominating men in society.
Gender inequality is visible in public institutions such as healthcare and education. Thus, administrative reorganization and improved awareness in the healthcare facilities, and appropriate education in schools for boys and girls will help decrease gender discrimination in the Pakistani societies.
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